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Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday links


Happy Bastille Day! Here's an old Jonah Goldberg article on the subject: The French are Revolting.

Museum discovers three cases of Madeira wine from 1796 in cellar. The wine was stocked in anticipation of John Adams’ presidential election.

The 100 Greatest Props in Movie History, and the Stories Behind Them.


ICYMI, Monday's links are here, and include how barbed wire changed the West, Nikola Tesla's birthday, the Japanese soldier who refused to surrender for 29 years, the history of the equals sign, and correlation is not causation: charts of weird things that correlate with each other.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The parakeet has a goiter: the best standard publisher rejection letter ever

From the blog of the excellent Letters of Note

The dreaded rejection letter is, more often than not, an entirely miserable experience for all concerned. To receive one is to instantly and all at once have one’s hopes dashed, confidence thinned, and mood dampened; to send the same is to knowingly rain misery down upon a stranger whose happiness will soon melt away thanks to a decision you had no choice but to make. 

Even worse than the rejection letter is the standard form rejection letter, a lifeless kick to the guts aimed en masse at a pool of unsuitables who are, it would seem, undeserving of a personal shove--a pre-printed shake of the head for one’s troubles. To find a standard form rejection letter of note, then, is quite a task, but not impossible, and here is the finest of examples, written and sometimes sent by Brian Doyle, current editor of the University of Portland’s Portland Magazine

Letter taken from the More Letters of Note book:

Thank you for your lovely and thoughtful submission to the magazine, which we are afraid we are going to have to decline, for all sorts of reasons. The weather is dreary, our backs hurt, we have seen too many cats today and as you know cats are why God invented handguns, there is a sweet incoherence and self-absorption in your piece that we find alluring but we have published far too many of same in recent years mostly authored by the undersigned, did we mention the moist melancholy of the weather, our marriages are unkempt and disgruntled, our children surly and crammed to the gills with a sense of entitlement that you wonder how they will ever make their way in the world, we spent far too much money recently on silly graphic design and now must slash the storytelling budget, our insurance bills have gone up precipitously, the women’s basketball team has no rebounders, an aunt of ours needs a seventh new hip, the shimmer of hope that was the national zeitgeist looks to be nursing a whopper of a black eye, and someone left the toilet roll thing empty again, without the slightest consideration for who pays for things like that. And there were wet towels on the floor. And the parakeet has a goiter. And the dog barfed up crayons. Please feel free to send us anything you think would fit these pages, and thank you for considering our magazine for your work. It’s an honor.

--Editors

The 47 names Disney considered for the 7 dwarfs



In the 1930s, as Disney began work on the movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (an adaptation of Snow White by the Brothers Grimm), the writing team compiled the following list of potential names for the seven dwarfs - characters who, in the original story, were unnamed.

As we now know, Bashful, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, and Sneezy were picked. The name of their leader, Doc, was chosen at a later date.

By the way, in 1912 the story had been adapted for the Broadway stage, and the names chosen for the dwarfs were Blick, Flick, Glick, Snick, Plick, Whick, and Quee.

Here's the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Original Theatrical Trailer from 1937:



And here are the options they compiled (What the heck is Neurtsy? And why leave off Sleazy and Smutty?):
  1. Awful
  2. Baldy
  3. Bashful
  4. Biggo-Ego
  5. Burpy
  6. Daffy
  7. Deafy
  8. Dippy
  9. Dirty
  10. Dizzy
  11. Doleful
  12. Dopey
  13. Dumpy
  14. Flabby
  15. Gabby
  16. Grumpy
  17. Hickey
  18. Hoppy
  19. Hotsy
  20. Hungry
  21. Jaunty
  22. Jumpy
  23. Lazy
  24. Neurtsy
  25. Nifty
  26. Puffy
  27. Sappy
  28. Scrappy
  29. Shifty
  30. Shorty
  31. Silly
  32. Sleepy
  33. Snappy
  34. Sneezy
  35. Sneezy-Wheezy
  36. Sniffy
  37. Snoopy
  38. Soulful
  39. Strutty
  40. Stuffy
  41. Swift
  42. Tearful
  43. Thrifty
  44. Weepy
  45. Wheezy
  46. Wistful
  47. Woeful

Monday, July 10, 2017

Monday links

Yesterday was Nikola Tesla's birthday: bio, Tesla coil music, Tesla vs Edison rap battle

Brussels sprouts, English Muffins, French toast - How 9 Site-Specific Foods Got Their Names

The strange and righteous history of the equals sign.

Correlation is not causation: charts of weird things that correlate with each other.


The Japanese soldier who lived in the hills and refused to surrender for 29 years.

ICYMI, most recent links are here, and include Independence Day speeches from Lincoln (1858), Coolidge (1926) and Reagan (1986), how the first news reports of independence were disseminated, the science of fireworks and of barbecue, and Independence Days from science fiction.